Brown Sues to Aid Swindled Students
A shuttered San Diego vocational school was sued Monday for allegedly bilking students out of millions of dollars in tuition for computer classes that were not delivered, according to a joint lawsuit by California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis.
“Students are saddled with enough debt going to school, and it’s outrageous that they paid for classes that were never taught,” Brown said.
“The school’s owners failed to give refunds and misled students, causing hundreds of complaints to come in to our consumer protection unit,” Dumanis said. “Thanks to the efforts by the attorney general and our office, these students will get their money back.”
The suit, which seeks millions of dollars in fines and restitution, accuses the owners and operators of MicroSkills of charging students about $25,000 in tuition and of closing the San Diego campus without refunding students. The suit accuses the owners and operators of soliciting students to enroll even as the school was going to close October 20. “Defendants continued to sign up new students and receive payments from students for such training during the time defendants intended to close their school,” said the lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court.
As many as 350 students were affected, and the suit alleges the company falsely promised refunds would be provided for any classes not provided.
“I was trying to better myself and instead this turned out to be a big downfall and now I’m in debt,” said 28-year-old student Kevin Schatte. The Spring Valley resident lost more than $21,000 in tuition.
California law requires when a private for-profit vocational school closes it must refund, within 30 days of closing, tuition for all classes that were not provided. MicroSkills and its owners failed to provide either partial or full restitution.
The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction, restitution of tuition to as many as 350 former MicroSkills’ students of approximately $2.5 million, and civil penalties of at least $2 million.
The suit targets Firouz Memarzadeh and Farah Memarzadeh, husband and wife of La Jolla, the Memarzadeh Family Trust and others.
The school's address is 7340 Miramar Road #207, San Diego, California. The complaint is attached.